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  1. #1
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    Falling on the Foxy Fall Century

    The Foxy Fall Century metric was listed as a 60.8 mile ride. However, the actual miles on my bike was 70.65.

    Now that would seem to be much of a problem but the buzzards who like to fly low can figure their efforts pretty well to the length of the course and if you tell them it's 60 miles and it's really 70 they burn out at 61 miles.

    Which is what happened to me. Well, not TO me but to someone else that did me in.

    I was with a group that likes to ride as fast as they can for the distance which turned out to be very often above 20 mph. At first that's fun but it loses its luster pretty rapidly when you start getting close to 50 miles. I could tell that something was up with the guy really pushing the pace because he was starting to look for reasons to stop instead of just slowing down. Finally we approached a RR track in the last 10 miles and just as we arrived the signals turned on and the guy happened to be leading stopped cold.

    I could see the train was still a quarter of a mile down the track and the other way was clear so I just continued on. So my group was stopped at what turned out to be a long train while I was riding at 20+ away from them.

    Finally I came to the turn that signaled about 3 miles left to ride. I was passing everyone and a guy hopped on my wheel. As we got back on the UC campus there was a car stopped in the left hand lane a little short of the left turn where I needed to go. I slowed a bit and the guy on my wheel went from the left lane over in the the bike lane. I pulled over enough to pass the car and he started moving cutting me off from that lane. As I looked up the guy who passed me was making a left turn from the bike lane in front of both me and the car!

    I t-boned him I think. And I was going maybe 17 or more at the time. I must have gone down on TOP of him. I had some real pain in my right side up near my armpit. But other than that I don't even have ROAD RASH! That's the first road fall I've had that didn't have road rash as an integral part.

    No damage to my bike except the derailleur hanger was bent slightly out of alignment. Already fixed that.

    He was busy making his getaway while I was really hurting in the street. I saw a taco'd wheel on his Colnago Master UltraLight and he was limping pretty good. I don't think he liked the comments I made at 120 dB.

    I hope he's OK and didn't damage that beautiful bike. He made a dumb move but all's well that end's well.

    The moral of the story is to keep your eyes open and don't do something wrong because you're tired and assuming that the car and therefore the guy next to him are all going to turn left.

    I'll have some pain and probably some pithy comments for a couple of days but in the end I'll be out riding on my regular Tuesday ride. Well, I think I will.
    Last edited by cyclintom; 10-15-06 at 09:22 PM.

  2. #2
    SSP
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    Most skiing accidents happen late in the day, and I suspect bike rides are the same way.

    I nearly ran into the side of a car one time about 2 miles from the end of a century ride because what I thought was a 4-way stop sign was only a 2-way stop.

    Bottom line...be really careful near the end of the ride!
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  3. #3
    Pat
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    Tom,

    I am glad you came out of it OK. I see lots of dumb moves on organized bike rides. I think the size of the group gives people a confidence that cars are no longer a problem. They also seem to think that other cyclists are no longer a problem also. Even at the best of times, it only takes a small lapse and someone is going to go down. I am glad that no one was seriously injured.

    Pat

  4. #4
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I'm really gald to see this post & gald to see that you weren't creamed at the end of your century. After reading your passionate posts in the recent helmet thread, I recognize that putting this post up takes some courage. Despite our best intentions, diligent attempts to become better riders, and efforts to learn more, danger is out there. Sometimes, it's just being in the wrong place at the wrong time (even though where we were was actually the "right" place in terms of where we "should be".)
    Last edited by NOS88; 10-16-06 at 03:42 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I just got back from the x-rays and now under the influence of Vicodin I can smile again. I should find out what damage was done by the end of the day. Though my guess is that I either got a bad bruise on my ribs or perhaps cracked a couple of them.

    One thing that this points out though - the perpetrator left the scene of a potentially serious accident. He left no contact information and I expect this to be illegal. I wasn't that badly hurt and I have insurance but what if those two things weren't the case? This would now be a case for the police. I'd suggest that if any of you are involved in such an accident that you make sure that you behave in an ethical manner.

    Now, my philosophy is that if you ride you're going to crash sooner or later. Unless it's something so outrageously stupid you shouldn't hold other people accountable. As the saying goes - it takes two mistakes to make an accident. I was looking that the CAR on my left side when the bike on my right side turned in front of me. The fact is that SAFETY dictated that I should have slowed and stopped behind the car since I intended to make a left hand turn. The fact that he was stopped in the middle of the block and didn't show any signs of moving until I passed him aside, although I was doing a perfectly legal manuveur I should not have been in such a hurry to trust TWO people who were plainly operating their vehicles in a less than attentive manner.

    Interesting thing - both the car and the other cyclist got the heck out of there as fast as they could. Sort if indicates that SOMEONE was feeling guilty.

  6. #6
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    This is the main reason why I shy away from group rides.

    I used to ride in groups a lot back in the 1980's. Now I am very particular about the people I ride with. For more than 15 years I only rode solo, but in the last year I have started riding with other people. A year ago I rode our local century ride for sentimental reasons after not having ridden it offically in 16 years. I had organized many of the early ones and I had a commitment from an old friend to ride it retro-style. My friend chickened out at the last minute so I think that I was the only person riding in toeclips with tubulars on a Brooks Pro. If my friend would have shown up on his circa 1980 Merckx with all Campy SR it would have been a HOOT! Unfortunately he didn't. Within 15 miles I decided that I would have the best chance of surviving the ride if I rode it solo. I couldn't believe how poor the pack riding skills were of the riders around me. Very scarry stuff!

    In the meantime I have been riding with some folks on occasion, but the people I have been riding with are racers or former racers and with them I am completely comfortable. These folks no how to ride in groups safely! This coming weekend I am once again riding the local century ride, but now I am riding with people I know. Still, I am aprehensive. A couple of the riders that I'm committed to riding with are not that strong (and not the racers I normally ride with) and we have agreed to ride it at a pretty slow pace to keep the group together (aiming at 18.5 to 19 mph average speed - not a whole lot of climbing on this ride!). I'm afraid that we will get other folks that we don't know in our group. All it takes is one bonehead to take down a paceline.
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  7. #7
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I think Cyclintom made a great move, instinctively crashing ON TOP of the guy that caused the crash. This is a great way to minimize your own injuries and send a message to the dude that caused the crash!

    When you ride on the track, you pretty well have to ride in a group (otherwise thangs get pretty boring real quick). However, track riders are by and large much better riders than dudes that just ride the road; you pretty well have to be in order to modulate your speed without brakes and without backpedaling. After a while you become very, very smooth indeed. And then you get into a pace line on the road, and you wonder why it's so damned jerky, so you just want to get the hell out of there, and people don't understand what you mean when you say the line is "not smooth."

    Anyway, in my neck of the woods, if you leave the scene of an accident where someone might be injured, it's called hit and run, and it's a serious offence. That's why I make it a practice that whenever I'm hit by a car and I know it's not my fault, I just lay there in the road even if I feel like I can get up. I'm not a doctor, so I'm not qualified to judge the extent of my injuries, so I'm exercising reasonable prudence. At the same time, it forces the motorist to stay there until the cops and ambulance arrive. I've only been hit by cars four times, and only once has it been a hit and run, and I've always been well enough to go to work the next day, knock on wood.

    - L.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    I've only been hit by cars four times... knock on wood. - L.
    Yikes! Only four times!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  9. #9
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    Well, I've either ridden bicycles or motorcycles my entire life and never was hit by a car, never hit a car and only once was with a friend on a bicycle who had a car pull out in front of him and he performed the graceful pirouette sort of a u-turn in which he ended up sitting on the front fender of the shocked drivers car.

    ONLY FOUR TIMES? Either you're very unlucky or a very slow learner.

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